President Trump allegedly instructed then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the opportunity to bid on a $10 billion tech contract with the Defense Department in 2018, according to an upcoming book by a former top Mattis communications aide.
In an excerpt from “In Holding The Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis” provided to military news outlet Task and Purpose, author Guy Snodgrass, who served as Mattis’ former speechwriter and communications director, describes Trump’s personal involvement in sabotaging the lucrative contract to provide cloud computing services to the Pentagon.
According to Snodgrass’ book, Trump called Mattis during summer 2018 and directed him to “screw Amazon” out of the opportunity to bid on the contract.
“Relaying the story to us during Small Group, Mattis said, ‘We’re not going to do that. This will be done by the book, both legally and ethically,” Snodgrass reportedly wrote.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.
Last year, the president accused Amazon of scamming the Postal Service on shipping costs. CNN notes that “independent investigations have disagreed with” Trump’s claim.
The Pentagon announced Friday that it had awarded the $10 billion contract to Microsoft over Amazon.
The department said in a statement that giving the contract to Microsoft “continues our strategy of a multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment” and that “the department’s needs are diverse and cannot be met by any single supplier.”
According to CNN, a Mattis spokeswoman this week released a statement in response to the book calling Snodgrass a “junior staffer” who “played no role in decision making.”